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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by charles_creech78, Mar 4, 2008.
Whats is your thought on this? Do you believe in it? Is it God will or not?
Surely Christians must believe it, because it is in the bible. (Romans 8.29 & 30,Ephesians 1.5 & 11), plus the Greek word translated "predestine(d)" is elsewhere translated "determined before" (Acts 4.28) and "ordained" (1 Corinthians 2.7) (All this is in the NKJV; in the AV/KJV, the word is translated "predestinate(d)" and "determined before"). Christians differ in what they believe to be involved in God's predestination. Some say that God saw in advance who would believe, and chose to save them. Others would agree with Albert Barnes, who, in commenting on Ephesians 1.5, wrote (apologies for the rather long quote!):
The word used ( proorizw) means, properly, to set bounds before; and then to predetermine. There is the essential idea of setting bounds or limits, and of doing this beforehand. It is not that God determined to do it when it was actually done, but that he intended to do it beforehand. No language could express this more clearly, and I suppose this interpretation is generally admitted. Even by those who deny the doctrine of particular election, it is not denied that the word here used means to predetermine; and they maintain that the sense is, that God had predetermined to admit the Gentiles to the privileges of his people. Admitting, then, that the meaning is to predestinate in the proper sense, the only question is, who are predestinated? To whom does the expression apply? Is it to nations, or to individuals? I In reply to this, in addition to the remarks already made, I would observe,
1. that there is no specification of nations here as such, no mention of the Gentiles in contradistinction from the Jews.
2. Those referred to were those included in the word "us," among whom Paul was one—but Paul was not a heathen.
3. The same objection will lie against the doctrine of predestinating nations which will lie against predestinating individuals.
4. Nations are made up of individuals, and the predetermination must have had some reference to individuals. What is a nation but a collection of individuals? There is no such abstract being or thing as a nation; and if there was any purpose in regard to a nation, it must have had some reference to the individuals composing it. He that would act on the ocean, must act on the drops of water that make up the ocean; for besides the collection of drops of water there is no ocean. He that would remove a mountain, must act on the particles of matter that compose that mountain; for there is no such thing as an abstract mountain. Perhaps there was never a greater illusion than to suppose that all difficulty is removed in regard to the doctrine of election and predestination, by saying that it refers to nations. What difficulty is lessened? What is gained by it? How does it make God appear more amiable and good? Does it render him less partial to suppose that he has made a difference among nations, than to suppose he has made a difference among individuals? Does it remove any difficulty about the offer of salvation, to suppose that he has granted the knowledge of his truth to some nations, and withheld it from others? The truth is, that all the reasoning which has been founded on this supposition, has been merely throwing dust in the eyes. If there is any well-founded objection to the doctrine of decrees or predestination, it is to the doctrine at all, alike in regard to nations and individuals, and there are just the same difficulties in the one case as in the other. But there is no real difficulty in either. Who could worship or honour a God who had no plan, or purpose, or intention in what he did? Who can believe that the universe was formed and is governed without design? Who can doubt that what God does he always meant to do? When, therefore, he converts and saves a soul, it is clear that he always intended to do it. He has no new plan. It is not an after-thought. It is not the work of chance. If I can find out any thing that God has done, I have the most certain conviction that he always meant to do it—and this is all that is intended by the doctrine of election or predestination. What God does, he always meant to do. What he permits, he always meant to permit. I may add further, that if it is right to do it, it was right to intend to do it. If there is no injustice or partiality in the act itself, there is no injustice or partiality in the intention to perform it. If it is right to save a soul, it was always right to intend to save it. If it is right to condemn a sinner to woe, it was right to intend to do it. Let us, then, look at the thing itself; and if that is not wrong, we should not blame the purpose to do it, however long it has been cherished.
As to whether it was God's will or not, Ephesians 1.11 says that it was:
In Him (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
This is going to be a long answer because there is no short answer. A yes will require a why, and so will a no.
I begin with what the Bible says. That God has a book of life, and this book is owned by the Lamb, and both the book and the lamb are preceded and qualified by the phrase "before the foundation of the world". (Revelation 13:8, 17:8).
Is this a physical book ? I think not, for if it is it will have to be a very massive book, because it contains the names of all of God's elect from each generation, each tribe, each tongue, each kindred, and all directions of the compass, on earth.
Rather, as Gill puts it in his commentary on Revelation 13:8, and I quote:
This view directly lines with Romans 8:29-30's "whom" and "them".
All the "whom", are the "them".
In order for God to be omniscient, and I hope we all agree He is, then predestination has to be true. Or shall we remove those parts of the Bible that we disagree?
If God's knowledge is perfect, then whether or not you believe in predestination really makes no difference. It makes no difference whether you believe in mere prescience (foresight) or God's election of individuals, what God knows to be will be. If God knows a person will never believe, then that individual will not believe, will not have a chance to believe, or God's knowledge is not perfect. Have your choice..... if there is really any such thing...
there is a difference between foreknowledge and determination.
Keep in mind we have a 4-D God interacting with a 3-D creation...how we understand Him and His knowing must be different than how we understanding normal life events. Predestination might very well have more to do with foreknowledge than it does God making certain things happen.
Agreed. If I leave a box of candy out I know my child will eat some ... maybe all of it. I have that foreknowledge, but I did not make him take the candy.:BangHead:
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
I really enjoy a good "rumble" with you predestinarians! :laugh:
Of course there is predestination. It's in the Bible. Or course there is foreknowledge. That too is in there! We just recently had a thread trying to reconcile the two.
The easiest way would be to just say God predestined everything. That way He knows everything that will happen -- only He can't, then, know everything that might have happened if we each had a true free will. So He wouldn't be omniscient in the sense of true foreknowledge but only in the sense that all things were predetermined.
And then there are the issues of God causing/creating sin and how man can be responsible for sin such that God is righteous and just to condemn most to hell since God is responsible for everything.
Now some will say that under that model, God has a "permissive will" whereby He allows evil. Yet that argument just throws us into the foreknowledge model where He merely foreknows everything and doesn't truly predestine everything.
There's got to be some way of understanding that both operate (Let's try to construct a model that encompasses both, OK). And that way is that God predestines all good that He will do! Creation, Salvation, mercy, BRINGING BAD THINGS TO AN END If you become "good" by being a believer, a) God foreknows that and b) God predestines good to YOU, the believer (just like Rom 8:29 says!).
But God didn't predestine anyone in any way to sin. Man, thus, retains responsibility for his own sin.
Yes I beleive this too. But there is also the case for an attribute of God that he might possess but has not shown it to us... if this is the case, our predestination might very well be based in that unshown attribute.
God is not bound to show us everything he is. There is no way our human minds can comprehend everything about God... so there is a great possibility that there are attributes that we have never even comprehended...
It is like a grasshopper trying to describe a human being.
4-D God with a 3-D creation ....... uhhmmmm. you got me there, bubba, can you elaborate, please ?
Actually, if we add time to the equation we are in a 4-D universe....
that would put God in a 5-D situation... since he can think outside of time, but we can't
I agree with about half of what you said (not that I disagree with the other half, it's just that I get a little cross-eyed trying to understand that other half's logic, so I'll leave it at that).
I agree specifically that Romans 8:28 is in line with what you said about God predestines all good that he will do (may I add, for the elect, and only the elect).
Most Christians and preachers I know would say that Romans 8:28 includes the tragedies and the miseries, the sins and the pitfalls, the thorns and the trials of the Christian life. I don't believe so.
The thorns and the trials......uhmmm, maybe.
I believe Romans 8:28 specifically points to the "all things" of Romans 8:29-30 (foreknowledge, predestination, call, justification, and glorification) being those that work together for the good of the elect.
Never did, and I don't care if somebody is a Doctrine of Grace adherent, or a "whosoever" adherent, if he believes God presdestines sin on His child's life, then we part ways on that point.
Not the elect man.
Christ took the responsibility for the elect's sin, took the penalty unto Himself, and redeemed man from the eternal scope of that responsibility.
However, sin committed by the elect shall be the elect's own undoing in that "there is no more sacrifice" for that sin, Christ having been "offered once for all".
While the eternal consequences of ALL sin is no longer a fear for the child of God, he ought to bear in mind that he is responsible to the God who saved him for how he walks as a citizen of heaven, and sin, known or unknown, will still lead to natural, but, dire consequences for him on this earth.
For example, disobedience to the clear Biblical instruction, of loving your brethren, will bring about its natural retribution or results such as being disciplined by the church, or by God Himself.
Disobedience to the clear Biblical mandate of "not forsaking your assembling together" leads to the natural consequence of ignorance of the Word of God, and of being carried about by every wind of doctrine.
Disobedience to the clear Biblical injunctions against fornication, adultery, murder, robbery, stealing, laziness, and so on leads to its own natural consequences.
Fornication to sexual disease, adultery to legal consequences as well as personal consequences of a broken home, a dysfunctional family, and so on. Robbery to its legal consequences here on earth not to mention the stigma of being a criminal, and so on.
While the child of God is assured of eternity, in Christ, he is by no means exempt from the results and consequences of sin here in time, and from God's revulsion of it.
The unelect man however retains full responsibility for his sin, both here in time, and in eternity before the Great White Throne.
There is no way... not in our human understanding...
Just like there is no way to construct a model of the trinity, there is no way to construct a model of freewill and ordination.
ONe of the problems is we have never seen anything similar in nature.
We only have 5 senses to draw all our information from.
There are things out there that our 5 senses will not pick up.
The paradox of freewill/ordain can never be solved this side of eternity...
But I bet when we step into eternity... we will say... AHA... I got it!!!
But for now, we have to accept both BY FAITH (Just like we do the trinity) just because God has said both exist.
This is what I have come to believe in the last few months of studying both sides of the arguement and through lots of prayer.
But through it all, I have come to realize in a more acute sense, how great God is and how small I am.
Isn't it something how even in our feeble understandings, God still get's glorified!!!
This is something both sides agree to, :godisgood:
I think I'm on both sides. Is that possible? Or am I a spiritual schizo? :laugh: I'm sure I seem that way after changing my mind on so many things since I've been on the BB.
I believe it because the Bible teaches it, not because I'm comfortable with it :laugh:
One thing I've noticed from time to time is that those who oppose predestination commonly interpret foreknowledge as foresight. There's a big difference between knowing beforehand and seeing beforehand.
Romans 8:29, 30, "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."
See -- now we're talkin' "common ground" around the cross!!
I believe I agree! We all bring on these ourselves via self or Satan. The really neat thing is that God can turn them to good for those who love Him, "for those who are called according to His will!" The real issue in this is patience.
YOU'RE THE MAN!!
Quite true! But don't neglect that the "elect man" is a believer.
During this life -- AMEN! If we get out from under God's authority, we are treated like the "children of disobedience" for our "willful sin." That is why the scripture says, "be not partakers with them."
What he said, God. raying: EXACTLY right!
I'm gonna lay this back in my post so EVERYONE sees it again!
You got so much right that I hate to respond negatively here BUT --- sin was paid for at the cross. The only sin "remembered" at the GWT is unbelief. Imagine the "children of Israel" at Kadesh-Barnea waiting to go into the Promised Land. ALL their sins till then had been forgiven. But suddenly they were afraid to go in. Why? Unbelief!
But really -- this is good interchange of ideas!
Can I ask you to pray about it? I believe there is a good model for the Trinity and I believe there is a good model here (though I may not have illucidated it perfectly). ALL things good come from God. Why is it that He doesn't preplan those things but leave the bad things to be the choices of Satan and man?
I believe with all my heart, tim, that we arrive in eternity with all the "gold, silver, and precious stones" that we left earth with! How good a "prospector" are you?? :saint:
Faith -- is the "believing without understanding?" I didn't come to Christ that way. Did Jesus not say that the Holy Spirit would lead us into ALL truth?
It's called "spiritual growth," sister. We all hear and test the spirits. I think one of the amazing truths is that when we receive light, it leads us into more light but when we receive darkness, we are just that much more confused.
It reminds me of a Job 36:22 that I just love that says, "Who is a Teacher like unto God?" Imagine all that Job had to go through before he realized this! So true!